Amber Mays totaled 14 points and three assists during Saturday's Big South triumph at Charleston Southern.
Liberty junior Avery Warley played one of her best games of the season, Saturday evening at Charleston Southern, pacing all players in both points (18) and rebounds (16). Her effort sparked the Lady Flames to a 65-52 Big South win at the CSU Field House. Four of Liberty's five starters scored in double figures, as the Lady Flames won their sixth straight game. Liberty is now 13-4 overall and 4-1 in the Big South, after defeating the Buccaneers for the 26th consecutive time. Charleston Southern, which never led in the contest, drops to 9-9 overall and 1-4 in conference play. The Lady Flames raced out of the gate, scoring the contest's first 11 points. Amber Mays tallied five of the points, including a free throw at 16:33 which capped the game-opening burst. Helen Terry's triple from deep in the left corner, 15:29 before halftime, cut Liberty's advantage to 13-5. However, that was the only field goal the Buccaneers made for the first 9:49 of the game. The Lady Flames' advantage was still eight, prior to a 6-0 burst. Warley bookended the surge with baskets, part of a stretch where she scored 10 out of 12 Liberty points. Her layup at 7:30 made the score 23-9, Lady Flames. CSU then used back-to-back three-pointers to trim its deficit to six. Katie Tull's triple at the 5:47 mark finished off the home team's 9-1 run, making it 24-18, Liberty. The Lady Flames countered with a 13-4 surge, featuring four points apiece by starters Devon Brown and Rachel McLeod. LaKendra Washington's steal and resulting fast break layup gave Liberty a 37-22 lead, just 14 seconds before halftime. Terry then beat the buzzer with a putback for the Buccaneers, cutting the blue-clad Lady Flames' halftime edge to 13 points, 37-24. Liberty shot 50 percent (15-of-30) from the field before the break, while limiting Charleston Southern to just 26.1 percent (6-of-23). The Buccaneers, ranked No. 3 nationally in three-pointers made, shot only 20 percent (3-of-15) from behind the arc prior to halftime. CSU did shoot well from the charity stripe, making 90 percent (9-of-10) of its attempts while Liberty struggled to a 46.2 percent (6-of-13) effort. Led by Warley's nine opening-half boards, the Lady Flames owned a 22-16 rebounding edge in the first period. Warley complemented her glass work with a half-leading 10 points. Brown chipped in nine points, while Kylee Beecher added six caroms. Terry paced CSU with seven points. Meanwhile, Tull, the Big South Conference's leading scorer, was held to three first-half markers on one-of-seven shooting. Tull and teammates found their shooting touch after halftime, hitting a trio of three-pointers during a half-opening 13-4 surge. Shay Jones' trifecta at 16:37 made the score 41-37, Lady Flames. Liberty pushed its lead back to double digits with an ensuing 15-2 run, which spanned the next nine minutes. Mays scored eight points during the extended surge, including a driving layup with 7:33 left on the second-half clock. Her field goal lifted the Lady Flames' advantage to 56-39. Charleston Southern never got closer than 12 points for the remainder of the contest, as Liberty held the conference's highest-scoring team in check in a 65-52 victory. The Lady Flames owned the painted area throughout the contest, racking up a 48-6 advantage in "points in the paint" and outrebounding their hosts, 44-26. Liberty also made 24 of its 25 field goals from inside the paint, helping the Lady Flames shoot 51.0 percent (25-of-49) from the field on the evening. Meanwhile, Charleston Southern only hit 27.7 percent (13-of-47) of its field goal attempts, including a 26.7 percent (8-of-30) effort from three-point range. Warley's season-high rebounding total was part of her second double-double this season. Mays contributed 14 points and a trio of assists. Brown enjoyed a solid all-around effort, tallying 11 points, six rebounds, four assists and a trio of steals, while sinking the Lady Flames' only three-pointer of the contest. Beecher almost notched a double-double of her own, posting 10 points and nine boards. The victory was No. 250 of Carey Green's coaching career. He is now 250-81 in his 11th season with the Lady Flames. Green coached the game in bare feet, joining CSU head coach Julie Goodenough and her staff in their "Barefoot for Bare Feet" promotion. The event was designed to collect shoes for the Samaritan's Feet charity. Terry came off the bench to pace Goodenough's Buccaneers with 14 points. Tull added 11 markers, but shot only 4-for-13 from the floor. LeChell Rush corralled a team-high six rebounds for CSU. Liberty will play the second leg of its South Carolina beach trip Monday at 7 p.m., when the Lady Flames visit Coastal Carolina. The Chanticleers are a perfect 8-0 in home games at Kimbel Arena this season. The Buccaneers will wrap up a four-game homestand Monday, with a Big South contest versus Radford. Tipoff at CSU Field House is scheduled for 7 p.m.